Springboard to Success

Larry Thi began an impressive academic career at Community College of Philadelphia—one that would earn him two scholarships from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and lead him to the Ivy League.

After graduating from Franklin Learning Center High School, Thi felt he wanted to prepare himself for a baccalaureate degree-granting institution. He enrolled at the College to help him become a better reader and writer.

“My time at Community College of Philadelphia was so invaluable. My professors were my mentors,” said Thi. “The College really makes great strides for students to be successful.”

In 2011, the year Thi graduated from the College, he was awarded the Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, enabling him to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

Thi’s academic journey took him next to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he graduated with a bachelor’s in History in 2013. With a passion for the nonprofit sector and education, he landed a job upon graduation at 12PLUS to manage college access and readiness programs for Philadelphia high school students. Later, he would join the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation as the first Cooke Scholar to work at the foundation. There, he managed alumni programming across the country.

Thi was eligible to apply for the Cooke Graduate Scholarship, which provides up to $50,000 a year for up to four years. In fall 2016, Thi applied for the scholarship and walked away a winner a second time.

Now back in Philadelphia, where he has deep roots, he will pursue a dual master’s degree in Education Policy and Public Administration at the University of Pennsylvania.